The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By James Owens

I T MAY not have been one for the purists, but Brad­ford boss Stuart McCall was more than happy to see his side win ugly over Coven­try at the Ri­coh Arena.

Two goals in five sec­ond-half min­utes from Alex Jones and Jordy Hi­wula saw the Ban­tams move to within two points of the au­to­matic pro­mo­tion spots, and deep­ened the woes of the Sky Blues, whose hopes of League One sur­vival are fad­ing rapidly.

And McCall is de­ter­mined to en­sure that his play­ers don’t get ahead of them­selves as the bat­tle for pro­mo­tion en­ters its fi­nal weeks.

“It’s im­pos­si­ble to be pretty on that park, so it was about get­ting the job done,” McCall ad­mit­ted. “We’re not look­ing at the league ta­ble – ob­vi­ously we’re look­ing at the re­sults – but first and fore­most we just con­cen­trate on our­selves.

“If we come off and we’ve done the busi­ness, great.

“We’ve won three out of the last four games, so the be­lief and spirit in the team is good.”

Stuart Beavon had gone close for Coven­try with a bi­cy­cle kick after a quar­ter of an hour, while at the other end Brad­ford were de­nied an opener only by a goal-line clear­ance from Jor­dan Turn­bull after Char­lie Wyke’s header hit the post.

But the vis­i­tors went ahead five min­utes after the restart when a fine cor­ner de­liv­ery from Tony McMahon was struck into the roof of the net by first-half sub­sti­tute Jones.

Jones came close to a sec­ond mo­ment slater, be­ing de­nied only when Lee Burge tipped his 20-yard ef­fort over for a cor­ner. But Hi­wula soon ex­tended the Ban­tams’ lead.

The Hud­der­s­field Town loa­nee side­footed a de­flected shot past Burge having been fed by Mark Mar­shall fol­low­ing a counter-at­tack, and from there the vis­i­tors never looked back.

Coven­try are now 14 points adrift of safety with only ten games to play and rel­e­ga­tion looks all but cer­tain.

New boss Mark Robins, who re­turned for a sec­ond stint at the club on Mon­day after the de­par­ture of Rus­sell Slade, ad­mit­ted that his side showed their fragility as soon as they went be­hind de­spite a solid first-half dis­play.

“I was quite sat­is­fied, if not pleased, with the first half,” Robins re­flected.

“The start to the game was good, and we could have nicked a goal or two. When we get chances, we’ve got to take them.

“You can see that we’re frag­ile. We’ve con­ceded a goal five min­utes into the sec­ond half and not been able to re­spond to it.

“We then didn’t look like we could get back in the game, and that was the dis­ap­point­ment for me.

“If you look at Brad­ford they have shown ex­pe­ri­ence and strength and a know-how to go on and win the game

“It’s dif­fi­cult to crit­i­cise, but we have to be bet­ter. We have to try and grow up re­ally quickly.”

PIC­TURES: Simon Davies/ProS­ports

STAR MAN MARK MAR­SHALL Brad­ford SKY HIGH: Jordy Hi­wula punches the air after, in­set, scor­ing Brad­ford’s sec­ond

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